Valve to put Steam hardware into beta next year?

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Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

Valve's Jeri Ellsworth has said that the company wants to make Steam games more playable in the lounge room — and soon.

(Credit: Valve)

Valve's Big Picture Mode has been a huge move for the company into territory that is normally the domain of the consoles. It's also been no secret that the company has a hardware division that's been toiling away in the sort of long-term project focus that Valve is famous for.

Valve employee Jeri Ellsworth spoke to Engadget about the company's one-year goal: "To make Steam games more fun to play in your living room."

Ellsworth's hardware team is apparently working in tandem with the Big Picture Mode to create control solutions — basically, looking at new ways to play games that move away from the keyboard/mouse combo, which can be hard to work into a lounge room situation.

Engadget reported that nothing is off the table from "Phantom Lapboard-esque solutions to hybrid controllers", and Ellsworth's team hopes to have hardware in beta testing sometime in 2013.

Can Valve take on the established consoles and make Steam gaming a viable couch activity? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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